2 Oct 2005

Sign the Petition for Martyn See



The text below is that of the petition that has been started in order to show support with Martyn See the Singapore Rebel documentary maker and fellow Singaporean blogger. The reason for the creation of the petition was the recent call for action by Amnesty International.

So please follow the links and sign the petition or pass word of its existence from mouth to mouth, emails, blogs, websites or by any means possible.

To: Dr LEE Boon Yang. Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts
The following is an appeal on behalf of Singaporean film maker Martyn See, who is now under police investigation following the making of his short documentary on opposition leader Dr Chee Soon Juan.

We believe that the investigations being taken into the making of this documentary are unnecessary and that the laws undermining freedom of expression should be ended including the Films Act, which can serve to punish perceived government opponents and to deter Singaporeans from expressing dissenting political opinions and participating in public life.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Constitution of Singapore.

Martyn See has been threatened with prosecution under the Films Act, after a making of a 26-minute documentary on Dr Chee Soon Juan, the leader of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), and could face up to two years in jail or a fine of up to S$100,000.

In March 2005 government movie censors ordered the withdrawal of his documentary, entitled Singapore Rebel, from the country’s annual international film festival on the grounds that that it breached the Films Act. Subsequently, as police conducted a criminal investigation, Martyn See was called for questioning and compelled to surrender his video camera, existing tapes of the documentary and other related material.

We also believe that the harassment of film maker Martyn See and his associates, including the threat of prosecution should be halted immediately.

The Films Act, just one of a wide range of restrictive laws that curtail freedom of expression in Singapore, prohibits "party political films". The Act broadly defines such films as those containing "…either partisan or biased references to or comments on any political matter".

Martyn See denies making the film in support of any particular political belief or party, commenting that he sought to "find out Chee Soon Juan's motivation, as to why he does what he does." Although banned in Singapore, the film has been screened at human rights festivals in the United States and New Zealand and may soon be shown in Canada.

We believe that we the udersigned are acting in accordance with the hopes of a possible relaxation of political and social controls, ushered in by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his 2004 inaugural speech which called for greater participation by Singaporeans in a more "open" and "inclusive" society.

However, continuing tight restrictions, including the use of the Films Act, continue to inhibit political life.

We believe that the threatened prosecution of Martyn see has a wider 'chilling' effect on the right to freedom of expression in Singapore. And should therefore be halted immediately.

We the undersigned are concerned about the harassment of Martyn See, the threat of his prosecution under the Films Act, and restrictions on freedom of expression, including artistic freedom. We wish to draw your attention to this matter in order that it be stopped immediately.

We the undersigned call for an end to the misuse of restrictive laws, including the Films Act, which can serve to punish perceived government opponents and to deter Singaporeans from expressing dissenting political opinions and participating in public life.

We the undersigned believe that freedom of expression is a fundamental right protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Sincerely,


Sign The Petition


Related Links:


Singapore Rebel The Documentary by Martyn See

'Singapore Rebel' witch-hunt?

A call from the police

Singapore police asks filmmaker to turn in camera

Police to confiscate camera and tapes relating to 'Singapore Rebel'

Police investigation on Singapore Rebel resumes

The Singapore Rebel

Malaysian Film Fest to Show Singapore Rebel

Singapore Rebel is a party political film?

Bhavani said: politically motivated movies 'undesirable'

Films Act Related Email

Singaporean Filmmakers Question OB Markers

Film-maker now under police probe

Singapore Rebel Trailer

Sign The Petition

32 comments:

LuckySingaporean said...

My Blog : http://happycitizen.blogspot.com

What Martyn See does is dangerous to Singaporeans. He is trying to introduce ideas that has not been officially approved by the government. In took 40 years of PAP rule for Singapore to reach this state. We cannot allow him to confuse us with alternatives and undermine our state of happiness. Singaporeans minds have been molded by years of reading the Straits Times and listening to the state media. Everything they read and hear is consistent with what the PAP govt tells them.

It is thus necessary to introduce the film act and anti-sedition laws so that the minds of Singaporeans are not corrupted by dangerous people as Martyn See. Martyn See is telling us that Democracy, Freedom and Transparency is important to Singaporeans. This is hogwash, the PAP has told us that the most important thing is keep the PAP in power so that they can keep the good news coming through the state media and Straits Times - this is the best way for Singaporeans to stay happy - the film act, censorship, anti-sedition laws are all put in place for the good of Singaporeans. ...it is all for your own good...and protection.

Anonymous said...

too many sensitive topics; race, religion, CSJ, civil disobedience, white elephants, nepotism, temasek's wealth, ministers salaries... too hard to start discussion...silence is deafening

Anonymous said...

Stuff you bleedy ang mo.

Go and solve the problems in your own country before preaching.

Stop pretending to be "concerned" about S'pore.

Even after spending time in Spore, it is bleedy obvious you have absolutely no idea how things are done.

Anonymous said...

I assume you have idea; why dont you explain to us?

Anonymous said...

luckysingaporean is being sarcastic, not ignorant

ye said...

are all the Anonymous postings from the same person? and may i know just how are things done here?

Anonymous said...

stop all these rudeness, anonymous. It truly reflects on yourself, how open are you!!

Singaporean

Anonymous said...

stop all these rudeness, anonymous. It truly reflects on yourself, how open are you!!

Singaporean

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It seems to me the ruling party will have to make a decision sooner or later when the road forks. Take one path of freedom that leads to evolution... Take another path and they just might find out how deep revolution goes.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty for a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -Benjamin Franklin

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